Overview: Course

The specification for this junior cycle short course in caring for animals focuses on developing cognitive, social and practical skills through four inter-connected strands. The four strands presented here are: Learning about dogs; Caring for dogs; The dog around the home and The dog in the community. 

Strand 1: Learning about dogs  

In this strand, students are encouraged to research and work with others as they learn about the lifecycle of dogs, the benefits of owning them and what is involved in looking after them. 

Strand 2: Caring for dogs  

This strand deepens the student’s understanding of the animal. Through cross-curricular learning they develop skills of classifying, comparing and presenting as they pursue topics of interest to them in relation to caring for dogs.

Strand 3: The dog around the home  

In this strand, students are introduced to the practical aspects of dog ownership. There are opportunities for students to reach out to the local community as they learn about health and hygiene, healthy diets for dogs and how much it costs to own one. 

Strand 4: The dog in the community  

This strand enables students to build further on skills of communication as well as those of thinking and reasoning. They learn more about responsibilities associated with dog ownership and of the assistance dogs provide in the community.

Although the strands are interconnected, strand 1 is designed to be undertaken by students at the start of the course as it involves the student selecting a dog (their own or imaginary) on which to focus for the remainder of the course.

Teamwork is encouraged throughout all four strands. Students collaborate, peer-explain, seek feedback, provide feedback and reflect on their work. Practical, hands-on and problem-solving learning activities should be in evidence across all strands of the course. Opportunities for reflection on learning are embedded throughout the course.

The Classroom-Based Assessments outlined below reflect the learning students undertake in this NCCA short course. Schools have the flexibility to adapt any NCCA-developed short course to suit their particular needs and school context, with the exception of the Classroom-Based Assessments, which all students taking this short course will complete. Schools may also develop their own short course(s) and related Classroom-Based Assessments. Guidelines for schools who wish to develop their own short courses are available at http://www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Junior-Cycle_Short-Courses.

 The learning outcomes in this short course are broadly aligned with the level indicators for Level 2 of the National Framework of Qualifications (Appendix 1).

The course has been designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement.